Reformat?

This is a discussion on Reformat? within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; If I reformatted a drive any way to recover the lost data?...

  1. #1
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    Reformat?

    If I reformatted a drive any way to recover the lost data?

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    This one says its 100% guaranteed ! But I doubt it. What if something else has been written in the place from where you are trying to recover ?
    http://www.recoveryfix.com/recover-windows-data.html
    Last edited by abh!shek; 03-08-2008 at 08:57 PM.

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    Does it work on USB Flash Drives?

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    I was trying to put Linux on a flash drive and it failed, combined with the fact that I selected the wrong flash drive.
    So there are no files on the drive, but Windows doesn't recognise the Linux file system.

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    I don't know if I understand your problem. But I do know that Windows can be made to read Ext2/3 file systems with the proper driver:

    http://www.fs-driver.org/

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    Also, will the data recovery programs work on recovering data from a USB flash drive?

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    Data recovery programs are normally completely agnostic (that is "don't care") as to the type of device the filesystem is on.

    However, I fear that you may struggle to recover ALL of your data. Recovering data from a device that has been formatted the same way as last time isn't very difficult, because all you really need to do is find the directory structure of the old filesystem. However, when the drive is formatted with a different filesystem (such as Ext2/3 of Linux), not only is the root directory overwritten, but it's highly likely that other portions of data get overwritten, and that can easily lead to the recovery program getting very confused.

    Note that formatting a drive usually only overwrites the root directory and resets some other metadata that the filesystem relies on within the device.

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    So the program WILL work?

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    Quote Originally Posted by matsp View Post
    However, I fear that you may struggle to recover ALL of your data. Recovering data from a device that has been formatted the same way as last time isn't very difficult, because all you really need to do is find the directory structure of the old filesystem.
    If it's a FAT filesystem, then it's likely all the data clusters are still there. The problem though is that the FAT itself got cleared, so all the cluster chains are gone, and you are left piecing the clusters together manually. This might not be so bad, if the drive wasn't incredibly fragmented. But it is manual labor.

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    It was a FAT filesystem, but will the program work if used on an ext3 file system? Also, if I reformat the drive with FAT again will it work? And, if neither option will work, how would I manually retreive the data?

  11. #11
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    If you did a Quick Format, then it should be almost entirely recoverable, but if you did a Full Format, then you're doomed.

    If you formatted it into another filesystem, it is generally more difficult to recover it and some files which were situated in the first sectors will probably be unrecoverable.

    You can google for good recovery programs. For example SpinRite.
    Last edited by maxorator; 03-11-2008 at 05:47 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxorator View Post
    If you did a Quick Format, then it should be almost entirely recoverable
    Yes, in the sense that a shredded document is theoretically recoverable Quick format or not, formatting the disk wipes out the FAT. Your file data is still there but you have no way to piece it all together.

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    Your file data is still there but you have no way to piece it all together.
    Hire a computer forensics expert?
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    Look up a C++ Reference and learn How To Ask Questions The Smart Way

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    Quote Originally Posted by laserlight View Post
    Hire a computer forensics expert?
    You can hope that the files you want to recover are stored consecutively on disk. If the drive isn't fragmented badly, you might get lucky. You'd have to manually examine every block on the disk by eye and extract the pieces. I can see doing it with a text file or source file, where you can easily identify what you're looking for, but for something like an MP3 I think it's pretty hopeless.

  15. #15
    C++まいる!Cをこわせ! Elysia's Avatar
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    There are some very good software out there that can piece together data from a formatted disk and even long ago deleted data.
    GetDataBack for NTFS/FAT is one such application. If you are in need of getting data back, give it a whirl. Unfortunately, it isn't free, but at least you can see if it can get your data back before considering purchasing it.
    Then there are free alternatives out there. Unfortunately, they aren't as easy to use or quite as good as the commerical ones.
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